Writing a series, for me, is an evolutionary process. The work changes you; you change the work. It’s a constant learning experience.
Right now, with The New Kids published, I’m looking forward not only to the next book in the series, but those that come after. I’m far from done with Jack and Charlie, their families, and the friends they make along the way.
For the immediate future, I’m working on a novel I originally called CARTWHEEL, with Jimmy Ardana among others involved in the fighting centered around the reduction of the Japanese base at Rabaul. However, at the time of the story’s setting, that operation was named ELKTON.
ELKTON is not as cool a name as CARTWHEEL. So now I’m in search of a new name. At present I’m torn between Cheap at the Price or Shoestring’s End. It’ll probably come clear to me as I work.
It won’t be too much of a spoiler to say that 1943 will be an interesting year for my characters. Other than the above at least three other novels will be set in 1943. Hopefully I might get those done within the next two years!
That’s all for now. I’ve got to plan a night-time raid on shipping in Simpson Harbor. At masthead height, in a B-17. Don’t quite know yet what Danny Evans will think about that…
Shameless self-promotion: you can find The New Kids on Amazon Kindle, available through Kindle Unlimited, as an ebook, or as a paperback, at
13 responses to “Looking Forward”
May I offer kudos and congratulations on your magnificent series on the air war in the Southwest Pacific Area? I must have had a very latent interest in that arena, since, after reading your first five books I have also bought and read the books by Bartsch and Edmonds as mentioned in your first book of the series. They were a rather expensive indulgence but worth every penny!
I must also say that your ability to develop your characters rank right up there with my favorite authors, the late Tom Clancy and W. E. B. Griffin.
The only problem I have with your books is that there is so much time in between them. I understand why that is, so to fill in the spaces, I’ve reread the first four books four or five times now – I seem to discover something new everytime I read one of them again!
I do have a question for you though, and that is: Do you deliberately introduce an esoteric technical error into your narrative to see if your readers are, well, paying attention?
I ask that because I occasionally come across some seeming anomalies, and my curiosity gets the best of me!
Finally, please don’t waste time on meals and sleeping – WRITE !!!
In great anticipation of #6,
Hi, Andy, many thanks for your kind comments! As for the anomalies, well…I do the best I can, but I won’t swear I get it 100% right 100% of the time. I’d be happy to discuss any anomalies you find for that very reason.
My whole aim in this series is, to the extent that I can, write them as if I were looking over the shoulders of my characters as they go through the events of the stories. Not much I can do about things I’ve already written, but I’m more than happy not to commit the same error twice.
Bartsch and Edmonds are fabulous, but another book you might find interesting is George Kenney’s memoir, General Kenney Reports. Amazon Kindle has it as something else, but you can get the ebook on Kindle for not horrible expensive.
I don’t exactly know why this subject fascinates me the way it does. I remember reading Kenney’s memoir when I was a teenager and being absolutely enthralled. If I can make some of the people he mentions live again, like Bill Benn or Ken McCullar or Ed Larner or, well, there are a lot of them, then I’m happy.
I’ll work hard on #6, but I gotta tell ya, it’s a lot easier to read than it is to write! I did settle on a title: Shoestring’s End. A friend of mine was radioman on the USS Virgo back in WW2; I discussed it with him and he had some good thoughts about why that made sense.
Later and thanks again!
Mr. Burkhalter (Tom, if I may),
If I were to send you a few pictures, hard copy articles, etc., in care of the Hickory Aviation Museum, would this be an appropriate way to get this sort of material to you?
Sure thing, Andy. And Tom is fine. BTW, if you’re in the area, I’m at HAM most Saturdays. If you’ve got any of my books in paperback, my motto is “Have pen, will autograph.” And thanks!
I blew through all five of your novels on my Kindle and anxiously await new books!
Thanks, James! Working hard on number 6!
REALLY enjoyed your books ! When I read the character Zemke it struck a far off memory. My brother was a forward spotter in in north Africa and later moved to ,I think France. He took some pictures there and has a picture of a plane that has “Zemkes Wolfpack 56th Fighter Groupe” it also has 31 swastikas painted on it. Is this the same guy in your book?
Hi, Matt! Thanks for the kind words, that always means a lot.
Hubert “Hub” Zemke commanded the 56th Fighter Group, and evidently was one of the great fighter leaders of the war. We’ll probably see more of him in a future book. 😉
Are you sure it was 31 kill flags? If memory serves Gabby Gabreski of the 56th was the top-scoring ace in the ETO with 28 kills. Might have been his airplane. Bob Johnson was next with 27. Those of course are kills recognized by the USAAF, which, for reasons I’ve yet to ascertain, seem to fluctuate.
I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Johnson once, some years ago. He told me his actual number of kills was more like fifty or so, but because they were deflection shots (and the gun camera, of course, only films while the guns are actually firing, and look straight ahead) he never got credit for those. Maybe that’s Gabreski’s plane, after making claims that were allowed at first but later disallowed. If you’ve got the picture I’d love to take a look at it!
Thanks again and all the best!
Tom, yes I have the picture in front of me, you can’t see the tail of the plane . The writing beneath the cockpit is tough to read, the first name anyway, but the last name is Zemke. There are 6 columns of 5 with a single one following in the 7th column. There are people in uniforms around the plane with looks like a French flag flying in the background..
I had a bunch of old negatives reprinted for my brothers WW2 reunion a bunch of years ago and only kept this one picture because it was so special. I don’t have the negatives any more but I have this one , an 11×14 black and white. Not sure how to get you a copy. Can you email me your mailing address and I’ll send you a copy?
Sure! You can find me at email@example.com
Anxiously waiting on the next book in the No Merciful War series. I devoured the first six and am hungry for more. Mr. Burkhalter you got me through Covid recovery… Thanks for all your attention to detail and your excellent characters. I feel like I know these people..
Hey, Robert Morse,
I’m working hard on the seventh book. Very happy to hear you made it through a tough time! Wish I could be certain about when the next book will be out, I’m trying hard to make it before Christmas. Best of luck to you and thank you so much for your kind words!
Many Thanks! I will do my best to be patient.